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Snow hanging out over rooftop could break your back

Dear Shirley, Snow on the roof is the least of your problems down there in Tucson. But here in Grand Forks, it can be a major problem. I was just talking to Darlyne Holien of Grand Forks who is recovering from a freak accident during the Christma...

Dear Shirley,

Snow on the roof is the least of your problems down there in Tucson. But here in Grand Forks, it can be a major problem. I was just talking to Darlyne Holien of Grand Forks who is recovering from a freak accident during the Christmas blizzard. You see, Shirley, a big, hard sculptured chunk of snow fell off her roof and knocked her down. She was on the front steps cleaning them off after a neighbor had helped her clear her drive and walks.

When she got back inside her home on 25th Avenue South, she realized she was seriously injured and was taken to Altru Hospital by ambulance. There, it was discovered she had one compressed vertebrae in her back. She said they "lifted it up and put cement on it." She had been in extreme pain. She is still dealing with the pain of torn ligaments.

When I talked to her Wednesday, she said she is getting better. She is continuing her recovery at Altru's Rehabilitation Center.

We agreed people should know those billowy snow formations that hang out over roofs could possibly drop and hurt someone. We also talked about snow on the roofs and the possibility of vents being covered.

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I hired people to shovel snow off my roof when I got home after Christmas, Shirley. It was swirled 3 or 4 feet high in some places. I knew there could be more on top of that since it wasn't even January. I worry about some houses where the vents are still covered by snow. This could be dangerous.

Meanwhile, Darlyne is working toward recovery. She leads an active life as a member of Thursday Music Club and the choir at Calvary Lutheran Church. She didn't make it to the Norwegian Christmas service at Trinity Lutheran Church, where she usually sings. She also works part time at Annie's Hallmark and is on the roster for UND campus catering.

Since the big snowfall, she has been staying with her daughters, Nancy Morgan near Thompson and Shirley Reitmeier, Crookston.

The weather is better this week, Shirley. Some of these winter days are downright beautiful, and our days are growing a little longer. Tonight, the Chamber is holding its annual dinner and meeting, with Gov. John Hoeven scheduled as speaker. Barb Schultz is beginning her year as president of the board. And the annual Henry Havig Award will be presented to an outstanding member of the community.

This award is made in remembrance of Henry Havig, who was a community leader years ago. The award first went to the late Charles "Chuck" Goodman in 1977. Last year's winner was Dave McFarlane. The crew over at the Alerus Center is busy today fixing New York strip champignon, herb-roasted baby red potatoes and steamed asparagus.

January is a good time for a dinner out. On long, cold winter evenings, I have found time to read the legal notices in the newspaper. I was glad the county weed board met Wednesday. That proves spring and summer will come again this year.

Love from your sister, Marilyn, in the Red River Valley of the North, where molasses runs slowly in January.

P.S. I've been reading that piece you sent from the Arizona Star and see the population growth down there is lowest in years. Recession is the key factor. Well, with 6.5 million people, you still have about 10 times as many as North Dakota! Your population grew about 15,000 in the past fiscal year compared with 63,000 in the previous year. Well, we certainly send people your way in the winter. But people aren't coming your way to stay if they can't sell their houses in these times. Still, I see your slow population growth has propelled Arizona up to the 14th largest state in the nation. You slipped past Massachusetts!

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P.P.S. I wish you could see the children sliding down the dike over near Lincoln Drive Park. Some of them slide right down by my lift station at 15th Avenue and Belmont Road.

Reach Hagerty at (701) 772-1055 or send e-mail to mhagerty@gra.midco.net .

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